#RussiaFail · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

On the system of information confrontation in Russia

Photo: Lachezar / wikipedia.org

This opinion piece, by Dr. Igor Panarin, is both interesting and noteworthy. This was published in February 2017, he made the following comments today.

The information pressure on Russia will intensify: today the Russian Foreign Ministry announced attempts by the United States to interfere in the Russian elections outside the Russian elections. And the information confrontation around Syria is also not weakening …. The accusations from the Russian Defense Ministry in the alliance of the United States and IGIL the day before yesterday became the first attempt to pass into a counterattack.

As to the article, this particular short paragraph is especially interesting. Words bracketed by [ ] are my edits.

Information wars are [being waged] constantly, right now, and they are not prohibited by international law. And this is a global threat to Russia’s national security.

Because Information wars are being waged, by Russia, against the US and the West, and it is “not prohibited by international law”, Russia will continue waging war in the information realm. Notice he considers what is not illegal to be allowable. I have continually stated that Russian Information Warfare is usually unethical, immoral, and often illegal.

What is most interesting, however, is “this is a global threat to Russia’s national security”.  In this way Dr. Panarin is claiming that Russia is a victim.  The West responds with “the truth” and somehow Russia is the victim?  When RT, Sputnik, or any of the other Russian news media advertise “alternative” news, they are claiming their version as lies, propaganda, and conspiracy theories. 

Here, Panarin claims the current Russian Information Warfare program is a failure.

But in the information sphere, in the field of forming public opinion, creating our own information agenda, our results are much worse.  

Russian propaganda is overwhelming, their bots, fake sites, troll farms, state-news media, and the myriad other tools of Russian Information Warfare keep pounding us. We are only beginning to uncover the sheer immensity of Russian efforts to influence the US election in 2016, however.

Multiple studies by Pew Research Center, here,  however, show that Russian Information Warfare against the West is not at all effective.  

As Panarin did in 2008, therefore, he is proposing a new Russian Information Warfare (RIW) program.

His proposed RIW organization is not as specific as the one he proposed in 2008 (See Timothy L. Thomas, “Recasting the Red Star”, page 305) but piggybacks on existing structures and formalizes the incorporation of state-media programs into the RIW program.

</end editorial>

(Translated by Google Translate from the original Russian)

On the system of information confrontation in Russia

[By] Igor Panarin, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor

February 28, 2017, 19:10


Information wars are a real factor of geopolitics. By them we usually mean a whole range of information operations on the impact on the psyche and behavior of people, society as a whole, as well as measures to combat this influence.

“To win information wars, Russia needs to create special organizational, managerial and analytical structures”

Information wars are [being waged] constantly, right now, and they are not prohibited by international law. And this is a global threat to Russia’s national security.

In 1967, Allen Dulles, the main organizer of the information war against the Soviet Union, published a book titled “Secret surrender”, which was devoted to secret separate negotiations between the United States and Great Britain on the one hand and Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler on the other.

Negotiations were in Switzerland, and the Soviet intelligence officer Shtirlits and other patriots of Germany and Russia prevented them.

Dulles, describing this process in his book, introduces the term “information war” for the first time, understanding under it personal, reconnaissance, sabotage actions to undermine the enemy’s rear.

The next stage – in 1976 – American engineer Thomas Rona first uses the term “information war”, applying it to technical systems.

And in 1985 the term “information war” was voiced in China. In my opinion, this is not an accident, because today China is one of the leaders in the information warfare.

Further the term develops, and in 1992 in the USA there is a special document of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the USA, which is called “Information war”. He was devoted to the experience of the actions of the armed forces and US state structures in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm.

In 1995, the term “information war” appears in Russia.

In the Russian media and academia, a tumultuous debate begins about what this phenomenon is, but the theory and methodology of the information war itself was not yet there.

In 1997, in my doctoral dissertation “Information and Psychological Support for the National Security of Russia”, a methodological lattice of the theory of information warfare was built. The term “information confrontation” was also introduced.

What is the difference between information warfare and information confrontation?

Information confrontation is a form of struggle between the parties, consisting in influencing the information environment of the opposing party and protecting one’s own from negative information influences.

The difference between these two concepts is that information warfare is more active, using sabotage and terrorist methods.

In 2012, President Vladimir Putin used the term “information confrontation” for the first time publicly. In 2016, the term “information confrontation” was mentioned by the chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, Army General Valery Gerasimov.

Unfortunately, the factor of active information warfare against our Fatherland is underestimated by the political elite of Russia, just like the elite of the USSR.

Our country is the only one in the world that disintegrated twice in the twentieth century (in 1917 and 1991).

Why in 1917, when tsarist Russia collapsed, and in 1991, when the ideologically different Russia collapsed, everything happened in similar scenarios? Maybe the architects of the collapse were the same forces?

If we approach this issue from the standpoint of a single system process, which is not influenced by ideological components and does not affect who is at a critical moment in power, then a clear algorithm of collapse is built.

If we look at the February Revolution of 1917, we will see that this event united three types of coups d’etat, which, from my point of view, were coordinated by Great Britain, the main geopolitical opponent of Russia.

The British conducted global information operations aimed at the collapse of the Orthodox Russian Empire. Then they played a key role in the collapse of the USSR, using their individual approach to Gorbachev.

Modern Russia, in order to win information wars, it is necessary to create special organizational, managerial and analytical structures to counter information aggression against our country.

Russia lagged behind Britain and the US in using information as a weapon.

If we look at the Russian Armed Forces today – for example, our aviation in Syria – they are much more effective than they were in August 2008, during the operation to force Georgia to peace.

But in the information sphere, in the field of forming public opinion, creating our own information agenda, our results are much worse.

And here the first strategic step in this direction is made – on February 22, 2017, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the creation of the Information Operations Forces. This is the most important, but only the first step towards the creation of a powerful state system of information confrontation.

Further steps are needed to build the key components of this system, such as:

1. The State Council for Information Confrontation, which includes representatives of state structures, public diplomacy, media community, business, political parties, NGOs, etc.

2. Adviser to the President of Russia on information operations. The adviser should coordinate the activities of information and analytical units of state structures and their interaction with the Defense Information Operations Troops, as well as the information operations centers of the FSB, FSO, SVR and a number of other ministries and departments.

3. Foreign political state media holding (media resources of the First TV Channel, VGTRK aimed at foreign audiences, MIA “Russia Today”, etc.). It is advisable to subordinate this media holding to the Russian Foreign Ministry, taking into account, and in many respects also copying the American experience.

4. Troops of information operations of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

5. Information Operations Centers of the FSB, FSO and the SVR of Russia.

Source: https://vz.ru/opinions/2017/2/28/859871.html


2 thoughts on “On the system of information confrontation in Russia

Comments are closed.